Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dog Health Issues Group

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  1. Found and followed your blog from the Pet Blog Hop. I own four that I have resucued personally from puppy mills; my girl Ruby has diabetes and went blind over night. She gets 10 units 2x per day of insulin at 8am and 6pm and gets around okay but it hurts to see your baby run into walls or fall down steps. Breaks my heart in trying to deal with this and also fight my own battles.

    Thank you for this blog, it's amazing the compassion you have.

  2. You have a wonderful blog. We read Jasmine's story on the "About" page. Oh my gosh, you all went through a lot. Here is some "Pet Blogger Support" love for you and so glad to have you as part of the "Support" group.
    Your Friends at

  3. Hi HGC! Thank you for reading and commenting. So sorry to hear about Ruby.

    Blind dogs can orient through the space using their other senses, touch, smell and hearing.

    Different floor textures in different areas would help her to tell where she is. I would probably put strip of specifically unique texture where the stairs begin. (I figure you don't want to confine her to main floor by using baby-gates). You could probably try introducing her to how to tell where the stairs are by gently assisting her several times, I'm sure she'd figure it out. You could even put a different texture along the walls to help her to tell where the wall is going to be.

    They can also tell where they are by different smells (e.g. different potpourri in different rooms), and sounds (e.g. wall clock - one that ticks of course).

    These things could help her to get around.

    You can also attach a small bell on one of your other dogs or yourself so she can follow easier.

    Blind dogs often adjust quite quickly (easier of course if the blindness is progressive rather than sudden, then they need some help)

  4. Hi Lookie Lou! Glad you enjoy my blog. Yeah, Jasmine has been through so much. She pulled through though. This blog is to help others who are going though tough times with their dogs and perhaps through owner education even to prevent some of the things from happening.

  5. To Ruby's Person: I think the most important thing is to hang in there. I get around wayyy better than my human ever expected. My blindness was more progressive which gave me time to adapt, but I know several blind dogs who live happy lives. One tip: we moved into an apartment with hardwood floors at one point and I was having difficulty getting the layout of the place; my Girl then walked through all the rooms wearing socks, shuffling her feet. I could follow the scent trail and from then on navigated just fine.

  6. Dear Amanda

    Here are some more tips for Ruby and some additional resources:

    Tips from Julie:
    First of all, please remember that dog's blindness is much harder on the owner than on the dog. Sight is the dog’s third most powerful sense, and they can get along without it! Dogs adapt faster and better than a human ever could, so have confidence in Ruby; she’s amazing, and she can make it through!

    Other notes:
    Do not rearrange your furniture. Ruby will learn to negotiate her way through the house - she’ll learn where everything is and how to get around. If you move things - or leave things lying on the floor - you’re hindering her ability to get around safely.

    Also, though you may be tempted to pick her up and carry him to where she needs to go… this isn’t an option. (Unless it is an absolute emergency.) I’ve witnessed blind dogs become so confused when their owners did this: It’s not fair to the dog. You may be trying to help, but she won’t know where she is.

    “Puppy proofing” is an absolute necessity. Get down at your dog’s level and find ANYTHING that she could injure herself on. Make sure your home (and back yard ) are safe for her!

    It may also be wise to switch from a flat buckle collar to a harness (front pull) and a shorter lead (for safety and more control.)

    If you find that she keeps running into things, despite the fact that you’ve kept the same furniture arrangement since gosh-knows-when, you may consider some blind-dog-friendly devices, such as the ones found on these sites.

    Blind Dog Hoop Harness

    Littlest Angel Vest - the white cane for blind dogs

    Additional resources:

    How To Help Your Dog Cope With Sudden Blindness<
    Blind Dog Tips

  7. Dog Mama,
    I would like to express my gratitude for your compassion towards Ruby. The vet told me as long as nothing in the house moves, she will get through the house fine; she does with a bit of problems only when she gets overly excited. I have put down various floor rugs for her in addition to the wood floor, I have noticed she uses these to get around a great deal and most times she will slowly inch her way to feel where the wall is to get her location. As I said, the issue is her over excitement and this is when she has problems with walking into walls and also the steps. Sometimes Ruby takes off straight down the steps (we only have three steps, outside) like nothing and other times she has issues, coming up doesn’t bother her a bit. I noticed this is Ruby;s largest difficultly the steps from porch to yard and she loves the yard. She does well with closed doors (from the yard into the house) and will wait until I open and give her the okay and come in; then I give her praise. It’s very sad to know I can help her and that she can have the skim over her eyes blinding her removed, but I barely have the money for medication myself to defeat my terminal illness and the charge for Ruby is $3600 up front to cover 100% of the cost; they refuse credit I have tried everything and for my baby I would do anything; even if I had to sell myself I would do Ruby helped me during my battle with illness and the emotion of not being able to assist her now is deeply depressing; I feel horrific putting myself first and my medication when it should go to her she’s only 4. Thank you for the tips also from Julie yes this is harder on me then Ruby I’m sure. Blindness occurred overnight for her, and the insulin makes her very tired. I have “doggie proofed” and keep the floors free of anything she may run into that she is not used to prior to blindness. I try to give Ruby true independence, instead of carrying her around; I found this is what Ruby needs independence to be more confident in the dog she is with the eyesight she has. She only needs help getting up and down on the bed which she cannot do, that’s the only part of assistance she looks for. Thank you so much and thank you from Ruby.

  8. Blind,
    Thank you and Ruby thanks you. The sock idea is a great idea and one I haven't tired. It's hard to have the eye sight go overnight and for Ruby that's what it did as the day before she was catching things thrown in her mouth (a good girl treat). Textures is helping with the use of rugs as we have hardwood throughout and different rugs and smells she is using greatly to know where she is and where she needs to go. Thank you for your compassion and your tip also.
    Amanda & Ruby